“You disgust me. I never want to see you again. You hear me, boy? Not ever again.” He shoved Hank towards the door.
“Fine! If you can’t accept me for who I am, I don’t want to see you or talk to you again either. I’m never coming back here. No matter what.”
Hank opened his eyes.
Maybe I could have tried harder.
Maybe I could have faked it and been everything he wanted me to be. Every day, every minute of my life.
Maybe I would have found some form of happiness in living a lie.
He looked at the man nestled in his arms.
But then I wouldn’t have you.
He kissed Dave’s head.
And where would you be without me? Would you have crawled back to that Mick loser who hurt you?
His heart ached.
How could anyone hurt you?
Dave moaned softly in his sleep.
Hank smiled and kissed him again. “I love you, babe. I will never hurt you. I will never betray you. I will never love anyone more than I love you. It’s just you.” He ran his hand through Dave’s hair. “It will always be you to the end of our days.”
“mmm. You’re so romantic.” Dave opened his eyes. “I want to lick you from head to foot.”
Hank laughed. “So? What’s stopping you?”
“Eeee!” Dave tackled Hank onto his back, which made Hank laugh even more. “I love you so much!”
Hank put his hands on his lover’s hips. “So? Show me.”
Dave kissed him repeatedly with excitement and joy.
Hank felt himself fall deeper and deeper in love with every kiss, every touch, every lick, every move.
Mick was the biggest idiot this world has ever known. How could he willingly give up on someone like you? How could he push you away? How could he not want wonderful, exuberant you? “I love you. I love you so much.”
Dave raised his head. His eyes were bright with love. “I love you too.”
“I’ll never push you away. I’ll never leave you.”
“I know. You aren’t him. You love me and it’s the most amazing thing. I feel safe with you. I trust you.” He moaned, “I love you.” as Hank sucked on the side of his neck.
Hank murmured, “So, show me.”
“I don’t know, Jay.” Maelin hugged him tighter. “But I will hope. I will keep hoping.”
“That’s why I love you. Mae, I’m still worried about what Caten will do when he finds out that you’re here. The man’s a total nutcase. He might decide to punish you for what happened in his movie theater.”
“Are you going to stay with me this time? Are you back for good?”
She hesitated before replying, “I’ll stay for as long as I can.”
He released her. “I’m being selfish, aren’t I?”
She tilted her head.
“I’m always bugging you to stay—”
“—as if it’s something you have control over. I know I’m not being fair to you. I know—”
“Sweetheart, stop. Just stop.” She kissed the middle of his forehead. “You are the least selfish person I know. You’re good and loving. I want to stay with you. Believe me, I do. But. Sometimes it just isn’t possible.”
“I know that.”
“But.” She knelt at his feet and bowed her head. “If you give me the command, I’ll obey. I will stay for you.”
“No. I will not have you stay against your will. Mae, I want you to stay because it is what you want more than anything else.”
She looked up at him. “It is. So, give me the command.”
“No.” He knelt. “I love you, Mae. I will not steal your freedom.”
“What if I freely give it to you?”
He shook his head. “If I’m giving you a command you are compelled to obey…Mae. There’s nothing free about that. All I ask is that you stay for as long as you can. I don’t know how long that will be. Just tell me when you’re ready to leave again. Promise me that you’ll tell me.”
“I always do.”